Oneg Haazinu

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  • ?? Quiz Time?? Answers can be found on back page 1. How does Parshas Haazinu appear dierently in the Sefer Torah?



    AHThe Song of Haazinu

    Sam EpsteinInformal Educator, Immanuel College

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    The song of Haazinu, presented in poetic form, contains an undercurrent of hidden messages and comparisons.

    At the beginning of the Parsha, we read the phrase Yaarof Kamotor Likchi, Tizal Katal Imrosi, translated as May my teaching drop like the rain, may my utterance flow like the dew. Chazal explain that this poetic phraseology is in fact a reference to the words of the Torah. The Torah is compared to both rain and dew, both of which are imperative in ensuring the continued sustenance of the human race. Rashi explains that the comparison of Torah to dew is more apt than the comparison to rain, as rain can be harmful and damaging, whereas dew is always desired. However, the Ksav Sofer, amongst many other Meforshim, point out a seemingly evident problem with the explanation as quoted in Rashi. If rain is not always beneficial, why is the Torah study compared to it at all? Surely it would make more sense to neglect this comparison to rain completely and merely retain the comparison to dew alone. This seemingly perplexing allegory must therefore be understood.

    The Sfas Emes explains why the Torah is compared to both rain and dew. When one first sets out to study the holy words of the Torah, they are often perplexed as to the meaning, confused as to the translation and completely overwhelmed by the difficult task that they face in deciphering the multifaceted layers of the complexities of the words of G-d. The Torah, as direct words of G-d, is injected with complexities that are extremely difficult to grasp. When faced with difficulty, the natural tendency of the human being is to distance themselves from the difficult task that lies ahead. Challenges come in all shapes and sizes, and to fully grasp the Torah from the initial study is extremely difficult, if not

    impossible. Whether it is the primary school child after learning his Aleph Beis, taking a first stab at reading Chumash, or the older child, attempting to learn his first Gemoro; every new aspect of Torah study, whatever the age, whatever the circumstance, can be gruelling and difficult. The reading of the words, the complexities behind the translation; Torah can appear to be an uphill struggle that is vastly difficult to overcome. Chazal explain that the Torah, at first instance, is bitter. The reason for this is precisely because of the difficulty in understanding it. Because of this difficulty, it can scare people away. However, upon further study, the words become clearer and sweeter.

    The Mechilta in Parshas Shemos (19:15) tells us that Kol haschalos kashos, that all beginnings are difficult, and this is particularly true of studying new ideas and new concept, in particular the Torah. The Torah appears at first to be like the rain, which is not always good for crop. The Torah appears at first to be difficult to approach, hard to comprehend. It appears to be like rain, not always good, not always beneficial. But, after perseverance, this bitterness morphs into sweetness, the difficulty into ease. The metamorphosis of the Torah is the difference between comparing it to rain and dew, changing from a book that is difficult to approach to the eternally beneficial book, much like the wholly beneficial dew.

    As we complete the cycle of Yomim Tovim that begins the New Year, the challenge for each and every one of us is to find the sweetness in the Torah, to change the words of the Torah from

    rain into dew, eternally beneficial to each and every one of us. The sweet year we asked for on Rosh Hashanah can be achieved through the sweetness of Torah, as long as we persevere and as long as we are able to capture it.


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  • ?? Quiz Time?? Answers can be found on back page 2. What does the Shira of the Leviyim in the Beis Hamikdosh have to do with Parshas Haazinu?

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    The Weekly Halachic Conversation

    Rabbi Avi WiesenfeldRosh Kollel, Yerushalayim and Rav at Kav Halachah Beis Horaah H




    Sitting in a Succah The Shelter of Glory (Part 2)

    WHAT SHOULD NOT BE DONE IN THE SUCCAHAlthough we have learned that the succah should be treated as ones home throughout the duration of Succos, the succah is a very holy place (as many seforim state that the Shechinah rests there and that it is compared to the Beis haMikdash1) and thus demeaning acts should not be performed in the succah.2 The following are some examples of activities that should not be done in the succah:

    Washing plates and silverware in the succah.3 (Cups may be washed in the succah.4)

    Relieving oneself.5 Changing a babys diaper. Due to the holiness of the succah, one

    should be extremely careful not to speak forbidden things, such as lashon hara, rechilus, etc.6

    Q. May one wash netilas yadayim in the succah?

    A. According to many poskim, one should not wash his hands in the succah in preparation for the meal.7 Nevertheless, washing the hands upon awakening in the morning (negel vasser) may be done in the succah (since it must be done within 4 amos from ones bed), and the water should be removed immediately.

    Q. Are there any types of objects that should not be brought into the succah?

    A. Anything that one normally would not bring to the place of eating should not be brought into the succah (unless there is no other option8).9

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    For example, one should not bring into the succah: baking pans, mixing bowls orr buckets.

    Nevertheless, even if one does bring these items into the succah, the succah remains valid (but many authorities maintain that a berachah for sitting in the succah should not be made until these items are removed).10

    Q. May pots be brought into the succah?

    A. Pots that one normally would never bring into his dining room should not be brought into the succah (unless there is nothing else suitable with which to serve the food).11 Serving trays and bowls certainly may be brought into the succah.

    Q. Must the plates and utensils at the end of a meal be removed immediately after eating?

    A. After everyone has finished eating, the plates and utensils should be removed from the succah. One need not remove them as each person finishes his portion, just as one would not rush in ones home to remove them from the dining room table immediately after each person has finished eating. Nevertheless, they should not be left in the succah too long after everyone has finished.12 Drinking glasses may be left on the table until they are no longer being used; they do not need to be removed at the completion of the meal since people normally continue to drink from them even after the meal.

    The table may be cleaned after shalosh seudos, while it is still Shabbos. Although on an ordinary Shabbos this is considered an act of preparing for after Shabbos and is prohibited, on Succos it is permitted since it is being done for the immediate need of preserving the holiness of the succah.13

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    Similarly, it is permitted to bring a garbage can into the succah when cleaning up, provided that it is not left there.14

    Q. When is the berachah of recited?

    A. According to many Rishonim, a berachah must be made each and every time that one enters the succah.15 Other Rishonim disagree and rule that the berachah is said only upon eating something in the succah.16

    The final halachah is that we make the berachah only when we eat a food item that must be eaten in the succah, such as bread or mezonos.17

    Q. If one leaves the succah after making a berachah on it and then he subsequently returns, must he recite a new berachah?

    A. Only if one leaves the succah completely is he required to make a new berachah upon his return.18

    Rebbe Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev used to invite the plain, common folk into his succah. Explaining why, he said in Gan Eden the tzaddikim will be sitting in the succahs of the hide of the Livyasan and I, a simple man, will want to join them. I will be asked,

    What is your merit that you deserve to sit in the succah? and I will reply, Just as I, Levi Yitzchok, invited the plain people to sit in my succah, so too please let me enter the heavenly succah.

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